Erik Spiekermann: “Being Obsessive About Detail Is Being Normal”

Erik Spiekermann

I have some very strong opinions about the very strong opinions of Erik Spiekermann. To me he comes off as a cranky old man most of the time but he certainly deserves credit for his long-standing work as a typographer and designer. Recently, he wrote on his blog about the importance of details and how he refuses to be “classified as weird and unusual” because of his obsession.

Every craft requires atten­tion to detail. Whether you’re build­ing a bicy­cle, an engine, a table, a song, a type­face or a page: the details are not the details, they make the design. Con­cepts don’t have to be pixel-perfect, and even the fussi­est project starts with a rough sketch. But build­ing some­thing that will be used by other peo­ple, be they dri­vers, rid­ers, read­ers, lis­ten­ers – users every­where, it needs to be built as well as can be. Unless you are obsessed by what you’re doing, you will not be doing it well enough.

I think Mr. Spiekermann really nails it with this statement. My design-focused brain can’t help but obsess over the details. The nuances of the object you’re designing is what gives it character. The importance of details holds true for things like objects, old or new. When you pick up an iPhone you see the subtle detailing that makes it feel special. Or with older objects you can experience the wabi-sabi of it, the wear and patina that gives it an exceptional quality.

Be sure to read Erik’s full post by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

August 26, 2014 / By

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